Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2020

Sep 15, 2020

Current Affair 1:
Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) and Narcotics Bureau

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Narcotics Act and Bureau are in news after Sushant Rajput case. So, we will see here:

  1. Few important provisions of NDPS Act.
  2. NCRB latest Report on NDPS Act and offences
  3. Narcotics Crime Bureau

As per the data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) in its annual ‘Crime in India’ report, the number of cases booked under the NDPS act for possession of drugs for personal use & trafficking increased by over 25% in 2017 & 2018 compared to the earlier three years (2014 to 2016).

In this document, we take a look at NDPS Act, its provisions and the incidence of offences under this act.

‘NDPS Act 1985’ prohibits possession, distribution & consumption of Narcotic drugs

Prior to NDPS Act, the control and legality of narcotic drugs was exercised under the provision of The Opium Act, 1852, The Opium Act, 1878 and The Dangerous Drugs Act, 1930.  However, in 1985, the government of the day felt that the prevailing legislation was inadequate to deal with the illicit drug trade and drug abuse at both national and international level. Therefore, a comprehensive new legislation was formulated and brought forth in the form of Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act, 1985 (NDPS Act, 1985).

  1. The Act lists all the narcotics and other psychotropic substances which are considered as illegal. These includes various extracts from Cannabis plant (charas- resin, Ganja – fruiting/flowering tops), Coco extracts (cocaine), opium, poppy stalk and other manufactured drugs which are psychotropic in nature.
  2. The act also prohibits the cultivation of coca, opium poppy or any cannabis plant.
  3. It further prohibits the production, manufacturing, possession, selling, purchase, transport, storage or consumption of any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance.
  4. The act restricts the interstate import & export along with import & export of these substances into and outside of the country.






The Act further lays down the punishment for contravention of any of the provisions in the act. For all students who are still enjoying. See the punishment.

The National Crime Records Bureau’s (NCRB) annual Crime in India report provides information of the various crimes registered under IPC (Indian Penal Code) and SLL (Special and Local Laws). Offences which are booked under NDPS Act fall under SLL, and the information related to these offences is provided in the annual Crime in India report.  The latest report is for 2018, as per which 63,137 cases were booked under NDPS Act in 2018. This is slightly less compared to that of previous year, when 63,800 cases were booked under this act.

In terms of crime rate, it went up to 4.8 cases per million population in 2018, compared to that of 3.8 per million population in 2014.


The report also states that in 2018, Ganja, Acetic Anhydride, Opium, Hashish, Heroin, etc. are the type of drugs whose highest volumes were seized.

In the last two reports i.e. for 2017 and 2018, NCRB has categorized the total offences booked under NDPS Act into:

  1. Possession of drugs for Personal use/Consumption
  2. Possession of drugs for Trafficking

Greater number of cases booked for Possession of Drugs for personal consumption

Maharashtra & Punjab report the greatest cases, but increasing trend observed in many other states. See below.

As per the above mentioned two data, it is clear that few states are high on demand side and few are high on supply sides. We need to focus on both sides but most importantly we can put strict regulations to control supply side. 

About Narcotics Control Bureau: Posting from original site. Read confidently.

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 which came into effect from the 14th November 1985 made an express provision for constituting a Central Authority for the purpose of exercising the powers and functions of the Central Government under the Act.

In presence of this provision, the Government of India constituted the NARCOTICS CONTROL BUREAU on the 17th of March 1986. The Bureau, subject to the supervision and control of the Central Government, is to exercise the powers and functions of the Central Government for taking measures with respect to:

  1. Co-ordination of actions by various offices, State Governments and other authorities under the N.D.P.S. Act, Customs Act, Drugs and Cosmetics Act and any other law for the time being in force in connection with the enforcement provisions of the NDPS Act, 1985.
  2. Implementation of the obligation in respect of counter measures against illicit traffic under the various international conventions and protocols that are in force at present or which may be ratified or acceded to by India in future.
  3. Assistance to concerned authorities in foreign countries and concerned international organisation to facilitate coordination and universal action for prevention and suppression of illicit traffic in these drugs and substances.
  4. Coordination of actions taken by the other concerned Ministries, Departments and Organizations in respect of matters relating to drug abuse.

Some important provisions for Prelims Exam:

  1. India is a signatory to the single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the Conventions on Psychotropic Substances, 1971 and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988.
  2. The responsibility of drug abuse control, which is a central function, is carried out through a number of Ministries, Departments and Organizations.
  3. These include the Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue which has the nodal co-ordination role as administrator of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 and the Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988.

At last, any Constitution Provision you remember regarding drugs and all? Few yeses, Few No. I will kill you if you say No. Please remember. If you write constitution provisions in exam, it will help you scoring extra mark. See below:

The National Policy on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances is based on the Directive Principles, contained in Article 47 of the Indian Constitution, which direct the State to endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption, except for medicinal purposes, of intoxicating drugs injurious to health.


Current Affair 2:
Sundarbans endangered as per IUCN’s Red List of Ecosystems framework

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The Sundarbans mangrove ecosystem in India is evaluated as ‘endangered’ by a global team of researchers using the IUCN’s Red List of Ecosystems framework. The clearing of mangroves dating back to the 1800s and declining fish populations were the main historical threats. Ongoing threats such as climate change and reduced freshwater supply may further imperil this ecosystem.

At the same time. the assessment calls for ‘cautious optimism’ because of the slowdown in historically high rates of mangrove clearing, and recently stabilizing tiger populations.

Researchers from India, Australia, Singapore, and the U.K. evaluated the Indian Sundarbans ecosystem using the Red List of Ecosystems (RLE) framework developed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to assess an ecosystem’s risk of collapse. The framework is analogous to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Meaning of analogous:


The Sundarbans in the Bay of Bengal are the most extensive continuous mangrove forests globally, straddling India and Bangladesh. The UNESCO World Heritage Site and biodiversity hotspot harbours diverse species including the royal Bengal tigers. Four million people rely on the ecosystem services of the Sundarbans, with wild fisheries the second biggest employment source within the region.

Current Affair 3:
The Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020

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The Bill seeks to amend the Aircraft Act, 1934.  The Act (1934 one) regulates the manufacture, possession, use, operation, sale, import and export of civil aircrafts, and licensing of aerodromes.

Key provisions of the Bill include:

  1. Authorities:  The Bill converts three existing bodies under the Ministry of Civil Aviation into statutory bodies under the Act.   These three authorities are: (i) the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), (ii) the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), and (iii) the Aircraft Accidents Investigation Bureau (AAIB).   Each of these bodies will be headed by a Director General who will be appointed by the centre. 
  2. The DGCA will carry out safety oversight and regulatory functions with respect to matters under the Bill.  The BCAS will carry out regulatory oversight functions related to civil aviation security.  The AAIB will carry out investigations related to aircraft accidents and incidents.  The central government may issue directions to these authorities on matters related to their functions, if considered necessary in public interest.
  3. Power of centre to make rules:  Under the Act, the central government may make rules on several matters.  These include: (i) registration of aircraft, (ii) regulating air transport services, and (iii) prohibition of flight over any specified area.  

The Bill adds the regulation of air navigation services to this list

  1. It also allows the centre to empower the Director General of BCAS or any authorized officer to issue directions and make rules on certain matters.  These matters include: (i) conditions under which an aircraft may be flown, (ii) inspection of aircrafts, and (iii) measures to safeguard civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference.
  2. Adjudicating officers:  The Bill provides for the appointment of designated officers, not below the rank of Deputy Secretary to adjudicate penalties under the Bill.  Persons aggrieved by an order of a designated officer may appeal to an appellate officer.  Appeals must be filed by the aggrieved person within 30 days from the day the order is received. 
  3. Offences and Penalties:  Under the Act, the penalty for various offences is imprisonment of up to two years, or a fine of up to Rs 10 lakh, or both.  These offences include: (i) carrying arms, explosives, or other dangerous goods aboard aircraft, (ii) contravening any rules notified under the Act, and (iii) constructing building or structures within the specified radius around an aerodrome reference point.  The Bill raises the maximum limit on fines for all these offences from Rs 10 lakh to one crore rupees.
  4. Under the Bill, the central government may cancel the licences, certificates, or approvals granted to a person under the Act if the person contravenes any provision of the Act.  Such licences include those given for: (i) the establishment of an air transport service, (ii) the establishment of aerodromes, and (iii) the operation, repair, and maintenance of aircraft.
  5. Courts will not take cognizance of any offence under this Act, unless a complaint is made by, or there is previous sanction from the Director General of Civil Aviation, BCAS, or AAIB.  Only courts equivalent or superior to a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Magistrate of the first class may try offences under the Act.
  6. Exemption for Armed Forces:  Aircraft belonging to the naval, military, or air forces of the Union are exempted from the provisions of the Act.  The Bill expands this exemption to include aircraft belonging to any other armed forces of the Union. 

However, aircrafts belonging to an armed force other than the naval, military, and air forces which are currently regulated under the Act will continue to do so until specified otherwise by the central government.

Current Affair 4:
Places in News- Namibia’s Etosha Pan and Edakkal Caves

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Namibia’s Etosha Pan

A bright salt pan to a wet and lush landscape — the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently captured images depicting the wet and dry cycles of Etosha Pan in Africa’s Namibia through the year.

  1.   The Etosha pan is hollow in the ground, wherein water may collect or in which a deposit of salt remains after water has evaporated.
  2. The pan is mostly dry, but after a heavy rain, it acquires a thin layer of water that is heavily salted by the mineral deposits on the surface.
  3. According to NASA Earth Observatory, the salt pan receives most rainfall — as much as 46 centimetres — every year between October and March. During the dry season from April through September, water in the basin evaporates — depositing salt and other minerals on the land.

Edakkal Caves


Edakkal Caves and their ancient rock carvings in Wayanad district of Kerala, the mountain which houses these archaeological riches are facing a major environmental threat. Located more than 1300 metres above sea level, the Edakkal rock shelters with their unique carvings, which are thousands of years old, are located in Ambukuthi Mountain.

The rock carvings at Edakkal are categorized as Neolithic Petroglyphs. Neolithic is the new stone age, estimated between 12,000 years before present to 6,500. Petroglyphs are images carved onto rock. The Wayanad district website claims that the carvings date back to 6,000 B.C.

Current Affair 5:
RBI issues draft on rupee IR derivatives

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RBI has released the draft version of Rupee Interest Rate Derivatives (Reserve Bank) Directions, 2020. They are aimed at encouraging higher non-resident participation, enhance the role of domestic market makers in the offshore market, improve transparency, and achieve better regulatory oversight.

Key Points:

  1. It seeks to allow foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) to undertake exchange-traded rupee interest rate derivatives transactions subject to an overall ceiling of Rs 5,000 crore.
  2. Net short position of an FPI on exchange traded IRDs should not exceed its long position in government securities and other rupee debt securities.
  3. The purpose of offering Rupee IRD contracts to a user, the market-maker (entities which provide bid and offer prices to users in order to provide liquidity to the market) should classify the user either as a retail user or as a non-retail user.
  4. Non-retail users, as per the draft, are entities regulated by RBI, SEBI, IRDAI or PFRDA; resident companies with a minimum net worth of Rs 500 crore; and non-residents, other than individuals.

What are Derivatives?

A derivative is a financial contract that derives its value from an underlying asset. The buyer agrees to purchase the asset on a specific date at a specific price. The most common types of derivatives are forwards, futures, options, and swaps. The most common underlying assets include commodities, stocks, bonds, interest rates, and currencies. Derivatives make future cash flows more predictable. They allow companies to forecast their earnings more accurately. That predictability boosts stock prices. Businesses then need less cash on hand to cover emergencies. They can reinvest more into their business.

If you have time, please see all types of Derivatives: A bit long explanation but in simple terms. You can understand EASILY.

Types of Derivative Instruments/ Contracts

There are various types of contracts that are available in the market. This may make it seem like a difficult and confusing task to deal with all those derivatives. However, that is not the case. There are hundreds of variations available in the market and all of these variations can be traced back to one of the four categories:


  • A forward contract is an agreement between two parties to buy or sell underlying assets at specified date, at agreed rate in future.
  • Forward contract takes place between two counterparties, which means that the exchange is not an intermediary to these transactions.
  • Hence, there is an increase chance of counterparty credit risk and the credit exposure risk keeps on increasing since profit or loss is realized only at the time of settlement.


  • A futures contract is a standardized contract, traded on exchange, to buy or sell underlying instrument at certain date in future, at specified price.

Futures are standardized contracts and they are traded on the exchange. Futures contract does not carry any credit risk because the clearing house acts as counterparty to both parties in the contract.

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